Monday, February 9, 2015

Broken Things Part One

So often people lament that we live in a culture that has a disposable mindset...that when things have lived out their use or popular aesthetic, we replace them. It's true there are things we dispose of, things we make do with, and things we value enough to repair.
Right now, I have a lot of broken things in my life. They take my energy and drive me crazy. After nearly three years without a dryer and nearly 3 months without a washing machine, I have gotten them repaired. I have to let go of my van which requires more to fix it than is worth the trouble, so I undertake the absolutely torture-for-me process of car shopping. I really do hate that process I am getting a new water heater, and making a financial plan to update the other things in my house that so desperately need it. Fixing the broken thing of "not finishing my degree in my 20's" is an absolute joy. As hard as it is to find the time to do it, it feels good to finish business.
In finishing business, which for me is deciding to fix or let go of broken things, I learn that I can handle it. I can handle anything that comes my way, no matter how impossible or overwhelming or painful it might be. It is in this discernment that I tap into my own wisdom and power. Often I don't believe that I CAN handle it and this creates in me a sort of inertia.
Letting go of people is harder. I'd rather fix what is broken than actively discard someone. But I am learning that I cannot naively trust everyone to honor my boundaries, and that if I want to avoid consistently being on the receiving end of someone's inconsiderate behavior I'd better be choosy. And that people are fluid...sometimes I am a a preferred friend, sometimes I am not. I have seen that with my "business"-I use that term lightly because I have never truly delved into business-there is simply a natural ebb and flow.
I've been working with this with my own children. Some of the values I want to instill are: taking responsibility for one's own behavior, kindness to each other, and lack of judgment in personal interactions. That is for Part Two.
In my own life, I have blundered and stumbled and caused broken things. I have been moody and crabby and unintentionally made big messes, both emotional ones and literal ones. I often make my mistakes out loud, Some days it feels like I blunder a lot. Some things in my life become broken beyond hope of repair. Relationships, when broken, ideally can take those broken pieces and like with chemistry, can create a synergy of pieces that looks nothing like the un-working thing it was before, It can be better and stronger. But sometimes the raw materials themselves are irretrievably broken.
And I remind myself I can handle it. I have the ability to clean up my messes, no matter how big, how angry, how unintentional, how expensive, or how uncomfortable it is to do so.
Cleaning up your messes will inevitably involve apology. In learning about forgiveness, I am also learning about the fine art of apologizing, both giving and receiving. I find it is of great value to learn how to clean up your messes, for there one can experience the fullness of life...grace, love, forgiveness, strength, and healing.

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